SHIPBUILDERS have occupied the Harland & Wolff site in Belfast, closing the gates and refusing to leave, with their unions GMB and Unite demanding that the shipyard is renationalised.
By 5.00pm today, the workers will know if the plant is to shut and their jobs axed. Not prepared to await their fate, they have occupied to ensure the plant remains open.
GMB said yesterday: ‘We demand Harland & Wolff is renationalised, securing hundreds of jobs and Belfast’s place as a global centre of shipbuilding and heavy engineering.’
Workers staged a mass protest against the job losses at 12 noon yesterday at the iconic shipyard where the Titanic was built.
GMB said that unions met with senior management and the administrator to ‘understand what, if any, possible buyers are being engaged.’
GMB and Unite are calling for urgent political intervention to save the 132 jobs and the future of this historic workplace, through renationalisation.
Michael Mulholland, GMB Organiser, said: ‘Our members have been protesting for over 24 hours straight – such is the strength of feeling for this famous yard.
‘Harland & Wolff is a huge part of the UK’s shipbuilding heritage – it’s a piece of history and can’t be allowed to go the way of so many other shipyards in recent years.
‘GMB demands Harland & Wolff is renationalised, securing hundreds of jobs and Belfast’s place as a global centre of shipbuilding.’
Unite Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock said: ‘Unite members are determined to save jobs and skills.
‘I have been standing with the workers on the site since this morning, and give full support to their determination to defend not only their jobs, but Northern Ireland’s skillbase into the future.’